Virgin Media now offers 5G coverage in 100 towns and cities, using Vodafone’s network. You can access 5G on phones like the Galaxy S21, with 5G SIM cards available from £6/month.
Virgin Media has launched their new 5G mobile service today, with 5G coverage available in 100 towns and cities across the UK. It’s available at no extra cost for customers choosing a 5G phone or 5G SIM card, and uses coverage from the Vodafone network instead of EE.
At present, you can buy a range of 5G phones from Virgin Media including the Galaxy S21. However, the iPhone 12 is not currently compatible with 5G on Virgin Mobile.
The following table shows the key things to know about 5G on Virgin Mobile:
|Virgin Media 5G Coverage:||100 UK towns & cities|
|5G Phones:||Samsung Galaxy S21 and others, with the iPhone 12 coming soon|
|5G SIM Cards:||From £6/month|
|5G Speed:||176Mbps average download speed|
|5G Plan Features:|
Virgin Mobile 5G Coverage Map
5G Towns & Cities
At present, Virgin Media’s 5G service covers a total of 100 towns and cities across the UK. You can see them by zooming in on the map above. Alternatively, the full list of locations is shown below:
- East Midlands 1 location now live on 5G
- London 1 location now live on 5G
- North East England 17 locations now live on 5G
- North Shields
- South Shields
- Whitley Bay
- North West England 26 locations now live on 5G
- Warrington plus upcoming 5G launch planned in Blackpool
- Northern Ireland 3 locations now live on 5G
- Scotland 10 locations now live on 5G
- South East England 7 locations now live on 5G
- South West England 8 locations now live on 5G
- Isle of Scilly
- Wales 5 locations now live on 5G
- Dinas Powys
- West Midlands 7 locations now live on 5G
- Sutton Coldfield
- Yorkshire & The Humber 13 locations now live on 5G
- Eston and South Bank
It’s important to note that Virgin Media 5G plan customers will receive all of their coverage from Vodafone (including 2G, 3G and 4G coverage). This differs from 4G plan customers who still receive their coverage from EE until late 2021. It’s therefore possible you’ll see a change in other types of coverage when you upgrade to a 5G plan on Virgin Mobile.
5G Smartphones From Virgin Mobile
To access 5G coverage on Virgin Media, you’ll currently need to have an Android phone that supports 5G.
Unfortunately, 5G coverage isn’t currently available to customers with an iPhone 12. Virgin Media say on their website that the launch date for 5G is still “to be confirmed”:
Not currently compatible with iPhone 12. Virgin Media 5G compatibility live date with iPhone 12 series to be confirmed
At present, Virgin Media offers a choice of more than 15 Android smartphones with 5G. The list includes the Samsung Galaxy S21 along with the following devices from Huawei, Oppo and Sony:
- Huawei P40 5G
- Huawei P40 Lite 5G
- Huawei P40 Pro 5G
- OPPO Find X2 Lite
- OPPO Find X2 Neo
- OPPO Find X2 Pro
- OPPO Reno4 Pro
- Samsung Galaxy A42 5G
- Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G
- Samsung Galaxy S20 5G
- Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G
- Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G
- Samsung Galaxy S21 5G
- Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
- Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G
- Sony Xperia 5 II 5G
It’s believed the iPhone 12 will receive 5G at a later date on Virgin Mobile, following a required software update to add it. When the iPhone 12 eventually gets support for 5G on Virgin Media, you’ll get access at their 5G network at no extra cost.
5G SIM Only Deals
If you already have a compatible 5G-ready phone that you’d like to use on Virgin Mobile, you can order a 5G SIM Only deal from the Virgin Media website.
At present, Virgin have 5G SIM-only deals available from just £6/month. There’s no extra cost for getting access to their 5G network.
The following table shows Virgin’s 5G SIM-only deals:
|To show you the most relevant plans, 20 similar but more expensive plans have been hidden. Tap here to show them.|
Unlike on Virgin Media’s 4G plans, you’ll receive all of your coverage from the Vodafone network when using a 5G-ready plan. This includes your 2G, 3G and 4G coverage, which will also be provided using the Vodafone network if you’re a 5G plan customer.
5G Download Speeds
According to Virgin Media, the average download speed on their 5G service is 177Mbps. This is about four and a half times faster their existing 4G service, which has an average download speed of 37Mbps.
|Virgin Media Coverage||Average Download Speed||Average Upload Speed|
In some cases, you might be able to obtain peak speeds of up to 1,000Mbps on Virgin’s 5G service. You’ll also benefit from more network capacity and a lower amount of latency when using 5G.
5G Network Bands
Virgin Media’s new 5G service uses band n78 5G spectrum (3500MHz). This should be compatible with most 5G phones sold in the UK. However, if you’re using a 5G phone from outside the UK, you should double-check to make sure it’s compatible with Virgin’s 5G service.
|Virgin Mobile Coverage Type||Supported Bands & Frequencies|
If you’re a 4G plan customer, you’ll continue to receive coverage from EE until late 2021. You’ll then be migrated to using Vodafone’s coverage some time in advance of early 2022.
For more information, see our guide to Virgin Mobile’s coverage and network.
For more information about 5G on Virgin, please see the official Virgin Media website.